Explainer: The redundancy process

Rebecca Holman

September 11 2020

When it comes to redundancy, employers are often left feeling uncertain and vulnerable when handling the process.

It’s the unfortunate reality that redundancies are now becoming more common. So, it’s more important than ever that employers understand, and follow, correct redundancy procedures.

Below, we take a quick look at how to handle the redundancy process.

The redundancy process

There are many factors to consider when going through the redundancy process.

One of the most important is that all employees are entitled to a series of consultations before you make a final decision. This brings us to the point of ensuring the redundancy is fair.

A redundancy is fair providing there is:

  • A genuine redundancy situation.
  • A fair process including consultation.
  • Selection criteria and a redundancy payment.

The stages of redundancy

There are three stages of redundancy to follow when going through the process:

  • The initial ‘at risk’ meeting: This is where you confirm who’s at risk. If there’s a pool of people to be considered, the use of fair selection criteria is crucial.
  • The first formal meeting: Discuss alternative options with each individual employee. If a pool of employees is affected, discuss their personal score. Employees should also voice their concerns or suggestions, i.e. alternative roles or feelings about the proposed redundancy.
  • The second/final meeting: If this meeting is necessary, you would cover any suggestions or alternatives in greater detail. If there’s a pool, only the lowest scoring should be invited.

The selection process in Northern Ireland cannot be solely based on the ‘Last in first out’ rule as it's not deemed fair. However, it can be a contributing factor.

Your 'pooled list' is important and only those who scored the lowest should be invited to an interview. The selection of employees for redundancy should be fair, objective, and consistent to avoid any claims of unfair dismissal.

Redundancy payments

It’s important that if an employee is being made redundant that they’re provided with the correct redundancy pay, again to ensure a fair process. In Northern Ireland, there’s a cap on the weekly sum of statutory redundancy pay which can vary year to year.

However, you can choose to implement your own redundancy payment scheme which can uplift the statutory amount.

Need our help?

For further complimentary advice on the redundancy process from an expert, call us any time day or night on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.

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